The International Boxing Association (IBA) governing body has selected Tashkent, Uzbekistan as the host city for the men’s World Boxing Championships in 2023.
The competition will be held from May 1 to 14 next year and will have a record prize pot of $5.2 million for medal winners, with the gold medalist to receive $200,000.
The prize money is up from the $2.6 million offered in the previous edition in 2021 – the first time in the event’s 75-year history that medal winners were awarded prize money.
The biennial event was last held in Belgrade, Serbia. It was originally due to be staged in New Delhi, India, but was moved because of a disagreement between the IBA and the Boxing Federation of India over hosting fees.
Umar Kremlev, IBA president, said: “I am confident that IBA men’s World Boxing Championships will be held on the highest level in Tashkent, it will become one of the best in history.
“I have already visited Uzbekistan. I saw how they organized boxing tournaments. With their professionalism and love for boxing, they could be a role model for many countries.”
Meanwhile, former IBA president C K Wu has been declared persona non grata within the organization and the boxing community for “his activity in the past that led to the current IBA suspension.”
The decision was taken by the IBA board of directors and means Wu will not be invited to any IBA and continental events, as well as to any IBA-owned and IBA-sanctioned competitions.
A three-part report compiled by Canadian professor Richard McLaren stated that multiple issues the beleaguered governing body has encountered over the last few years stem from the election of Wu to the helm in 2006 when it was known as AIBA.
The previous iteration of the Swiss-based federation was suspended as the Olympic governing body for boxing in June 2019 (two years after Wu departed as president), at which point the IOC itself stepped in.
The report suggests that the culture of in-ring corruption detailed in the first part of McLaren’s investigation – multiple bouts during the 2016 Rio Olympics being manipulated, for example – is the direct result of the decisions taken during Wu’s presidency.
The second part of the report, released in December, focused on identifying both Wu and Karim Bouzidi (executive director of AIBA under Wu) as complicit in the corruption.
Kremlev said: “They say that corruption within AIBA took place, but this corruption has a name. His name is CK Wu. We should speak plainly without avoiding unpleasant or embarrassing issues.
“We are not afraid to reveal the truth. We need to decide once and for all, forget the past, and put a full stop. We have to be strict, all those involved must be banned for a lifetime. We take a decision that these people will not ever take part in any IBA activities.”
The position of Kremlev himself, one of a tiny number of Russian officials still heading up Olympic sports, did not fall under the remit of McLaren’s investigation.
The IBA president is currently under serious scrutiny because of the nature of his uncontested re-election in May. In June, the Court of Arbitration of Sport (CAS) ruled that Boris van der Vorst, president of the Dutch Boxing Federation, had been unlawfully ruled ineligible to oppose Kremlev in the election.
Van der Vorst then appealed to CAS, which ruled that his offense – essentially, starting campaigning too soon – was a minor infraction and should not have been punished by disqualification.
Kremlev has since said he is willing to stage the election again, this time with van der Vorst involved.
At the time, the IOC expressed "serious concerns" about the manner of the re-election.